Today, I’m delighted to feature an interview with florist Emma Lappin, together with some images of her beautiful floral designs.
Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist?
I grew up within a family of flower fanatics and so I think I was almost conditioned from an early age to become a florist.
My grandfather was a garden designer for Hilliers and grew the most exquisite peonies and roses, which is where my love affair with these fantastic flowers begun.
I remember my grandmother telling me that she rubbed dirt into the stems of the rose bushes that she cut so grandpa wouldn’t notice she had had her secateurs out. She was an amazing flower arranger – romantic and indulgent.
Later, when I was living in London, I used to pass Jane Packer’s florist shop in Marylebone on my way to work and my heart would ache that my day belonged behind a desk and not inside her wonderful shop.
One day I decided that life was too short, and so I took a deep breath, walked in and introduced myself. The rest is history!
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I started my business in 2002 after the birth of my first son which prompted our move back to Hampshire.
I’m now based between my Potting Shed in Basingstoke and a barn on a beautiful farm supplying wild flower turf in the heart of ‘Watership Down’ country – a source of much inspiration!
Could you tell us about the floristry services you offer?
My business specialises in wedding flowers, but I also help develop the total ‘look and feel’ of a wedding.
For example, creating the setting for a ‘woodland wedding’ complete with 15ft olive trees, 100 candles, hessian runners, bark pots overflowing with beautiful blooms and a ‘wishing tree’ which guests adorned with messages for the happy couple.
We’ve also turned our hands to floral jewellery, flowered thrones and later this year will be our first experience of decorating donkeys and boats as part of an outdoor wedding at Buckler’s Hard. It’s going to be fabulous!
How would you describe your style?
Luxuriously romantic! I don’t think I could ever describe myself as a minimalist girl, so I use lots of flowers to create a sumptuous elegant feel to woo guests and make them feel even more like they are part of something really special.
My working style often involves dubious shape throwing to ‘80s dance classics whilst singing at the top of my voice wiring and drinking far too much caffeine.
Women were made to multi-task and I am a great believer in the exploitation of this.
Could you tell us about the workshops you run?
This year, we’re running several ‘Bridal Inspiration Days’ where we help brides develop their own schemes and provide them with useful hints and tips, and the confidence required to create something individual and truly spectacular.
More information on our ‘Inspiration Days’ and Christmas workshops can be found on the Workshops page of our website.
What is your favourite flower?
Without a doubt it would be the peony, possibly the ‘Gardenia’ if I was pushed to name a variety.
I’m also a big fan of anything Cornish – agapanthus, scabious, hydrangea…pasties!
What are your plans for 2012?
Is it boring to say ‘to keep creating beautiful flowers for amazing brides in stunning venues’?
I’ve been very lucky to have been chosen as the Bijou Wedding Venues recommended florist which does mean I get to work in the most incredible places.
I’m also very excited to be doing my very first castle and ‘outdoor’ wedding this year which will of course be ensconced in brilliant sunshine without a drop of rain in sight. All part of the service…
Many thanks to Emma for her help in putting together today’s blog post.
(Images : Emma Lappin)